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US drops antitrust probe of Samsung over patents

Published on Feb 8, 2014 3:42 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - US Department of Justice (DoJ) officials on Friday dropped an antitrust investigation into whether Samsung abused essential mobile gadget patents in its ongoing battle with Apple.

At issue was whether the South Korean consumer electronics giant tried to gain advantage using "standards-essential patents" on technology that considered a basic requirement in smartphones or tablets.

Since such technology is needed to make devices viable based on industry standards, rights to use it are to be made available at fair market rates, according to marketplace rules.

The DoJ antitrust division began investigating last year when Samsung convinced the US International Trade Commission to ban certain iPhone and iPad models from the US based on SEPs.

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